Ken Schrom worked 43 years in professional baseball, as both a standout pitcher and accomplished front office executive. Schrom's tenure with the Hooks spanned 16 seasons, including 11 as team president. A football and baseball star at the University of Idaho, Ken earned Texas League Executive of the Year honors in 2005 and was inducted into the league’s Hall of Fame in 2016. Schrom pitched seven seasons in Major League Baseball with Toronto, Minnesota and Cleveland, earning American League All-Star honors in 1986. Greg Rajan (31:40), now a senior editor with the Houston Chronicle, covered the first eight years of Hooks Baseball for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. With Hunter Pence announcing his retirement this past weekend, Rajan presents us an oral history of the Hooks' 2006 Texas League Championship season.
Korey Lee, Houston’s first round pick from a year ago, was a late addition to the Astros reserve camp at Whataburger Field. In 2019, Lee hit .338 with 27 extra-base hits, 57 RBIs and a 1.045 OPS in 51 games during his junior campaign at Cal. Boasting a powerful arm behind the plate, the San Diego native threw out 44% of runners attempting to steal for the Golden Bears. After signing with Houston, Lee played in 64 games for Tri-City of the short-season New York-Penn League. He is listed by MLB Pipeline as a top-5 prospect in the Astros system. Nick Tanielu (18:33), a member of the Astros 2020 postseason player pool, saw action in 125 ballgames for the Round Rock Express last year, slugging 39 doubles, 19 home runs while driving in 84 runs as the E-Train reached the PCL finals. A career .295 hitter, Tanielu has logged four full seasons in the minors, helping his teams win 60% of their games. MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (37:25), now in his 17th season covering the Houston Astros, provides an update on the big club as we approach the final weekend of the regular season.
Shortstop Jeremy Pena, listed by MLB.com as the No. 5 prospect in the Houston system, is a recent addition to the Astros player pool at Whataburger Field. Pena, a 3rd round pick in 2018 out of the University of Maine, has earned two league all-star selections in his first two years as a pro. Colton Shaver (17:33) clubbed 50 extra-base hits in 113 games between High-A Fayetteville and Double-A Corpus Christi last season, while getting his first reps as a professional backstop. Outfielder Jake Meyers (37:21) was a two-way star at the University of Nebraska, and was selected by the Astros in the 13th round round of the 2017 draft. His 2019 exploits include a Carolina League All-Star nod.
This week at Whataburger Field, we caught up with Astros Triple-A manager Mickey Storey, who led the Round Rock Express to 84 wins and a trip to the Pacific Coast League finals in 2019. Hard-throwing right-hander Shawn Dubin (19:38) carved out a 3.58 ERA while averaging over 12 strikeouts per 9 innings in A-ball last year, earning him a place in the Astros 2020 player pool. CCISD Superintendent Dr. Roland Hernandez (29:58) speaks about the resumption of in-person learning and high school athletics, as well as the district's bond initiative which will be voted on this November.
Astros Broadcaster Robert Ford opens this week’s show. Ford, now in his 7th season with the ballclub, teams with Steve Sparks and Matt Boltz to bring you Astros Baseball on the radio. We then welcome Houston’s Senior Director of Business Operations, Dan O’Neill (31:52). Dan has worked with the Astros for eight seasons. He currently runs the club’s minor league operations in Corpus Christi, Fayetteville, North Carolina and West Palm Beach, Florida.
Astros Assistant Strength Coach Taylor Rhoades speaks about the professional sports experience in 2020. Taylor also dives into the advances in the strength and conditioning trade since he arrived on the scene with Houston in 2014. KIII-TV3 Sports Director Chris Thomasson (24:31) on the Gabe Cooley tragedy, high school football and the improbable run by the injury-plagued Astros.
Catching prospect Michael Papierski speaks about life as an Astros reserve training at Whataburger Field. And we check in with 2018 Texas League Manager of the Year and Houston first base coach Omar Lopez (9:00).
We lead off Episode 20 with a look at hard-throwing right-hander Luis Garcia, considered my MLB.com as a top 10 pitching prospect in the Astros system. Recent acquisition Fernando Rodney (7:56), aiming for his 18th season in the Major Leagues, speaks time at the Astros alternate training site – Whataburger Field. And we check in with two-time Texas League All-Star and former league pitcher of the Year Chase De Jong (11:07), who like Rodney, was recently picked up by Houston from the Sugar Land Skeeters.
With the Hooks’ Celebrate Whataburger Collection unveiled, JD Davis gives an inside look at how the campaign was created. Astros Assistant General Manager Pete Putila (16:15) checks in to update listeners on what’s happening at the club’s alternate training site, Whataburger Field. And Michael Coffin talks baseball on the radio with producer/engineer Matt Boltz (25:18), now in his sixth season with the Astros and his 20th in Major League Baseball.
This week, we take you inside the Astros workouts at Whataburger Field. Infielder Taylor Jones discusses what it was like to make his Major League debut. Right-handed pitcher Brett Conine (5:49), who climbed three levels to reach the Texas League last season, checks in with an update on how he is progressing this summer. Fundamentals coordinator Jason Bell (11:16) breaks down how the Astros are preparing their reserve roster in Corpus Christi. And pitching coordinator Bill Murphy (18:27) offers his insight on a few of Houston’s prospects, including Cristian Javier who tamed the Dodgers in his first Major League start on Wednesday.
With the Astros set to defend their American League title, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle provides a primer on the club’s start to the season. Amy Johnson checks in with former Calallen Wildcat Hambleton Oliver (26:16) who is now pitching for the Round Rock Hairy Men of the Texas Collegiate League. JD Davis then discusses the sports creative world with graphic designer Brian Gundell (32:40), who has help build brands for the likes of Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball.
Outfielder Chas McCormick, a 2019 Astros organizational all-star, chats with Dan Reiner about being a member of Houston’s 56-man player pool. Jace Tunnell (20:34), who directs the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, discusses his background and local conservation efforts with HBP correspondent Amy Johnson. JD Davis then wraps up the show by welcoming Kyle Kamerbeek (35:24), former Hooks on-field emcee who is now the promotions coordinator for the Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers.
Astros Summer Camp has started so Michael Coffin is joined by The Athletic's Jake Kaplan to kickoff the show to talk Astros baseball. Then JD Davis is joined by former Hooks broadcaster and current Amarillo Sod Poodle Sam Levitt (25:58) to discuss his journey through baseball.
With the cancellation of the Hooks’ 2020 season and the Astros’ intention to send their reserve players to Corpus Christi in late July, JD Davis and Dan Reiner discuss what’s next for the Ballpark by the Bay. As Astros Director of Player Evaluation, Charles Cook (7:43) takes us behind the scenes of last month’s draft. Singer-songwriter Rich O’Toole (34:36), who recorded the Hooks Baseball anthem, “I’m Hooked,” talks about his love of America's pastime and his new album, New York.
To lead off this week’s show, Astros play-by-plan man Robert Ford chats with Michael Coffin about his late father, the conversations our country is having regarding race and social justice, as well as the challenges broadcasters face due to COVID-19. Dan Reiner checks in with MLB alum and former Hooks infielder Drew Sutton (28:00). The two-time Texas League All-Star managed in the Collegiate Summer Baseball Invitational, held earlier this month in Bryan, Texas. Amy Johnson then meets Corpus Christi native Tina Butler (52:48), the Director of Resource Initiatives for Continuing Education at Del Mar College. Ms. Butler is also an activist with the Corpus Christi chapter of the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education. JD Davis then speaks with Hooks Senior Director of Stadium Operations Jeremy Sturgeon (1:07:20) who breaks down how Whataburger Field is preparing to open its gates during this pandemic.
Dan Reiner catches up with former Hooks strength coach Terrence Kennell, who is now serving as the Astros minor league strength and conditioning rehab coordinator. TK speaks about staying in shape during the pandemic, his journey to the Astros organization and his take on how the country is embracing the Black Lives Matter movement. Also, Michael Coffin welcomes Astros pitching coach Brent Strom (15:46) to the show. During this current eight-year run with the club, Strom has helped capture three American League West titles, two AL pennants and a World Series championship in 2017. The conversation covers current Houston prospects, as well as a look back at his 50 years in professional baseball.
To open this week’s proceedings, Hooks broadcaster Gene Kasprzyk, who won three state championships and 22 district titles over a 29-year run as the Sinton High School baseball coach, catches up with Michael Coffin. Dan Reiner welcomes Texas A&M-Corpus Christi head baseball coach and two-time Southwest Conference Player of the Year Scott Malone (26:09). JD Davis wraps up the show with a conversation with Casey Lain (50:54), a community leader and award-winning owner of the popular downtown haunt, House of Rock.
Amy Johnson opens Episode 10 by chatting with Courtney Merritt, the creative services manager for the Corpus Christi Hooks. Legendary Houston Astros broadcaster Bill Brown (9:22) joins the show to talk about Astros great and baseball front office trailblazer Bob Watson. Next up is a conversation with Krystal Houck (33:29), who provides a behind-the-scenes look at how H-E-B is combatting the COVID-19 crisis. Steve Banta and Cassandra Champion (49:58) then update JD Davis on what’s happening at the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay.
Dan Reiner leads off this week’s show by catching up with Hooks broadcaster Dominic Cotroneo (0:38). Michael Coffin then welcomes Corpus Christi alum Jimmy VanOstrand (21:20), who is entering his first season as the major league mental performance coach for the Toronto Blue Jays. Serita Porter (51:24), area director for Special Olympics Texas, speaks with Amy Johnson about how the organization is engaging the community virtually. You can also hear from Special Olympics athlete and volunteer Bill Overton, who works during the summers at Whataburger Field.
The show opens with a conversation between JD Davis and Claudia Huerta and Meredith Darden from Visit Corpus Christi as they announce the Hooks Jersey auction that is live now at cchooks.com
Dan Reiner catches up with former Hook reliever Alex Sogard (13:54) who shares stories from his Hooks days, growing up with his brother Eric, and making the transition from pro player to college head coach at Wright State University.
The show wraps up as JD is joined by Amy Johnson for a conversation with Astros Ballpark Entertainment Guru Garret Young (40:53). The three reminisce about the old days when they all worked for the Hooks and discuss Garret's time with the Astros, including running a show for game 7 of the World Series.
Michael Coffin and JD Davis open the show by giving an overview of MiLB’s Community First campaign, a national initiative benefiting Feeding America which will direct funds to the Coastal Bend Food Bank while honoring local heroes. Hooks General Manager and West Point graduate Wes Weigle (3:53) speaks about his background and how Whataburger Field can serve as a rally point for the community during this crisis. Amy Johnson welcomes King High School Principal Elizabeth Perez (29:11) who offers details on distance learning, as well how her staff is stepping up to the plate to support students and parents under quarantine. Calallen High School product and Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Wyatt Mathisen (37:29) wraps up the show with a breakdown of his breakout 2019 season and a recounting of his storied high school career with the Wildcats.
Our program is led off by a conversation with Hooks staffers Amy Johnson and Maggie Freeborn (0:33). AT&T SportsNet Southwest reporter and anchor Julia Morales (7:25) checks in with Dan Reiner to discuss her tenure covering the Astros, as well as her beginnings with the Round Rock Express. Hooks infielder and former Big 10 Player of the Year Jake Adams (47:52) wraps up the show by breaking down his 2019 season and reflecting on the path which took him from Brandon, South Dakota to the Houston Astros.
This week, Hooks head groundskeeper Quince Landry (0:44) helps Dan Reiner with his cabin fever. Also, original Hooks play-by-play announcer turned Texas Rangers radio broadcaster Matt Hicks (10:32) pays a visit. Michael Coffin checks in with the big club as Houston Astros Assistant General Manager Pete Putila (35:15) joins the show. Amy Johnson talks Buc Days with Buccaneer Commission President & CEO Johnny Philipello (49:46), and JD Davis catches up with Marjorie Boudreaux (1:00:10), Vice President of Marketing & Fund Development at Goodwill Industries of South Texas.
With the 2020 look of the Corpus Christi Raspas revealed, JD Davis and Rudy Soliz (0:43) take you behind the scenes on the development of theme weekends and club merchandise. Astros reliever and former Hooks pitcher of the year Chris Devenski (13:57) checks in from Houston as he awaits the start of the season. DJ/producer El Dusty (33:48) chats about the creative process whilst socially distancing. Corpus Christi chef Kris Busk (44:46) updates Amy Johnson on his restaurant, Shoreline Sandwich Company, as well as offer insight on the current plight of small businesses. And Jeff Dubrof (55:43) from KRIS 6 News provides the finale as he and Dan Reiner discuss COVID-19 ramifications on Coastal Bend sports.
On what was slated as Opening Week for the 2020 MiLB season, JD Davis and Michael Coffin speak about how the Hooks are connecting with fans via social media (2:45). JD and Mike also introduce you to the Hooks’ new assistant general manager, Brady Ballard (7:30). Astros infielder Abraham Toro (20:21) talks about his current preparations and some of the highlights from his standout 2019 campaign. Amy Johnson has a conversation with Amy Montez-Frye (33:37), the first-year “Voice of Whataburger Field.” And Dan Reiner welcomes Joey Mellows, the Baseball Brit on Twitter (47:42), who provides listeners with an international perspective on Minor League Baseball in the United States as well as baseball’s standing abroad.
With Whataburger Field closed for nearly three weeks, JD Davis and Hooks sales manager Kaley O'Brien (0:50) talk about ways members and fans can stay connected. Travis Green from KIII-TV 3 (8:32) and Dan Reiner discuss dramatic changes in the local sports landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Astros team historian Mike Acosta (21:20) reflects on the legacy of franchise icon Jimmy Wynn, who passed away last week at the age of 78. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's Dr. Michelle Hollenbaugh (47:00) offers advice for families as they acclimate to social distancing. And JD wraps up the episode with a community spotlight as Ashley Ramirez (52:48) of the Coastal Bend Blood Center joins the show.
In our first installment of the Hooks Baseball Podcast, radio broadcaster Michael Coffin and the club's marketing director, JD Davis (1:29), chat about social distancing and updates on the 2020 season. First-year Hooks manager Gregorio Petit (13:40), who recently wrapped up a 17-year playing career - including parts of six big-league seasons, checks in from his home in Manvel, Texas. Brian McTaggart (30:22)from MLB.com updates listeners on the Houston Astros and what the lead-up to the Major League season might look like. Dr. Leslie Mills, (48:03) director of career services for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, offers advice for those who are out of work due to COVID-19. And president of the Oneta Company, Julia Cook Kriegel (55:34), talks about her crew’s efforts to keep Corpus Christi stocked with bottled water during this crisis.